AFRICANGLOBE- A court in Rwanda sentenced a Chinese immigrant to 20 years in prison for torture after he was filmed tying-up and whipping a Rwandan man.
Sun Shujun, a known abuser and manager of a mine in the west of the country, had been accused of beating his workers in a case that drew national attention after he was filmed whipping a man tied to a cross on the ground.
Judge Jacques Kanyarukiga said it was clear that Sun “tortured the victims and issued corporal punishment with malicious intent, and this is a grave crime”.
A Rwandan man, Renzaho Alexis, was sentenced to 12 years for his role as an accomplice in the beatings. Sun, who was in court for the verdict, acknowledged assaulting two workers, saying he beat them because he was allegedly “frustrated and fed up of them constantly stealing minerals”.
A History Of Abuse
However, the prosecution – which had accused him of assaulting four people – argued that the victims had accepted the payments “because they were traumatised and afraid of him”.
A 45-second clip of one incident was widely shared online showing Sun Shujun using a rope to whip a man huddled on the ground and tied to a cross, as a small group of people in orange jackets looked on.
The mine produces cassiterite, a mineral that is the main ore of tin.
The Chinese embassy in Rwanda acknowledged Tuesday’s verdict in a weak statement on Wednesday urging Chinese citizens living in Rwanda to abide by local laws.
“Meanwhile, the embassy calls for the case to be handled appropriately in a rational, fair and just manner and requests the legitimate rights of the Chinese citizens to be properly protected,” the statement said.
After the verdict, Sun – who had been free on bail – was put handcuffed and taken away by guards. He has up to 30 days to appeal.